A SWAT training exercise in Ohio in which a “gunman” hijacked a school bus and tied up students has generated online outrage after it was reported the children didn’t know it was an exercise.

A commentary from Personal Liberty Digest posted at the Rutherford Institute website called it the “latest example of the state working to familiarize American citizens with terror and heavy-handed police-state response.”

The report said while preparedness is a good idea, there was “one disturbing element to the drill: The students on board the bus had no idea that they weren’t in real danger – even though the drill had been planned since May.”

At the Opposing Views blog, Michael Allen said: ‘So the town’s police staged a school bus hijacking drill with unsuspecting students, as school teachers, administrators and transportation directors watched a live feed of the ‘training.’”

Justin Klocko, a student, told television state WJRT, which reported on the Rossford, Ohio, event: “I didn’t know what was going on, because at the start he was just a normal person and then he pulled out a gun and a mask, and put it all on. Then he started tying everybody down and it just got really scary.”

Wrote Allen: “Oddly, WJRT didn’t question the authorities for not telling students or allowing them to opt out of the kidnapping drill, which was planned in May. Instead, WJRT chirped: ‘Students say it’s an experience they’ll never forget, and one they hope they never … have to relive.’”

The school’s bus chief, Jeff Culler, told the station, “Every driver, administrator will take something away from this saying that this could actually happen on my bus.”


Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.